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Headlines Today to become India Today

TV Today Network’s English news channel, Headlines Today, will be donning a new avatar and name in a week from now. The rebranded version of the channel will be called India Today and will be an extension of the magazine’s brand ethos into the group’s television business.

Ashish Bagga, Group CEO, India Today Group, said, “As a news-led group, we believe that we need to change and evolve as the genre grows. But we have a distinct aim – that we want to occupy a niche within the English news genre as an objective and non-noisy destination for news and news analysis. We have a prime team and not a super-prime time, which will help us reach the number one spot.”

This prime team includes journalists and anchors such as Rajdeep Sardesai, Karan Thapar, and Rahul Kanwal along with experts like Jamal Shaikh and Boria Majumdar featuring on news telecast and news-based shows throughout the day.

Headlines Today is currently number two in the pecking order of English news channels according to the ratings from the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). The channel’s four-week average viewership is 196, 000 (viewers), behind Times Now’s viewership of 319, 000.

The idea for taking the India Today brand, which has established itself as leading English language magazines in India over the past 40 years, into the television business of the group started taking shape a couple of years back. The change happened on digital-first, with the parent digital entity being InToday.in. The group then worked with brand agency Chlorophyll to chalk out the change for television.

“The magazine is known as much for its content, as it is for the way the content is presented through it in the form of pictures or caricatures etc. The packaging of the channel will thus change when it becomes India Today. We will have more infographics and innovations for the viewers to take in the news. The interface will be such that it breaks down the news to the simplest form for the viewer,” says Bagga. He adds that the tone of all the news shows will be to encourage the viewer to have an opinion, rather than force an opinion on him/her.

A part of this new programming is already on-air in the form of the animated segmented called So Sorry which is a short clip on a recent/current political development.

The change in the brand identity will be aided by an extensive multi-media campaign. Leading from the front will be a robust digital campaign, followed by a TV promotion effort. The channel’s new identity will be advertised on non-news channels as well. The third pillar of the campaign will be a considerable out-of-home media deployment in cities like Mumbai and Delhi. WPP’s Ogilvy and Mather have been roped in to conceptualize the creative campaign.